Monday, April 4, 2016

Fires blacken more than 4,000 acres in W.Va.

Since the first of the year more than 4,000 acres of West Virginia forest land has been consumed by wildfire. The West Virginia Division of Forestry reported the damage was spread across 260 separate fires. The blazes were particularly bad this past weekend with high winds across much of the state accelerating fires already burning.

“Mingo County was one that had a pretty large fire Saturday about 422 acres, that was one of the larger ones,” said Leslie Smithson, Spokesperson for the Division of Forestry. “Logan had a 150 acres fire and another Mingo fire of 150 acres. We had a lot of small ones too, but those were some of the larger ones.”

Nearly all of those fires were a result of debris burning which got out of hand according to Smithson. Spring burning restrictions are currently in place which restrict burning to the hours of 5 p.m. to 7 a.m.

The forecast for West Virginia in the days ahead calls for an increased amount of rain mixed with snow in some locations. The falling temperatures will also lessen the chances for the forest to catch fire and officials hope the change in weather will help curb the fire numbers until the leaf canopy grows overhead.